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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Development of detailed design concepts for the EarthCARE multi-spectral imager
Author(s): Dan Lobb; Isabel Escadero; Mark Chang; Sophie Gode

Paper Abstract

The EarthCARE mission is dedicated to the study of clouds by observations from a satellite in low Earth orbit. The payload will include major radar and LIDAR instruments, supported by a multi-spectral imager (MSI) and a broadband radiometer. The paper describes development of detailed design concepts for the MSI, and analysis of critical performance parameters. The MSI will form Earth images at 500m ground sample distance (GSD) over a swath width of 150km, from a nominal platform altitude of around 400km. The task of the MSI is to provide spatial context for the single-point measurements made by the radar and LIDAR systems; it will image Earth in 7 spectral bands: one visible, one near-IR, two short-wave IR and three thermal IR.

The MSI instrument will be formed in two parts: a visible-NIR-SWIR (VNS) system, radiometrically calibrated using a sunilluminated diffuser, and a thermal IR (TIR) system calibrated using cold space and an internal black-body. The VNS system will perform push-broom imaging, using linear array detectors (silicon and InGaAs) and 4 separate lenses. The TIR system will use a microbolometer array detector in a time delay and integration (TDI) mode. Critical issues discussed for the VNS system include detector selection and detailed optical design trade-offs. The latter are related to the desirability of dichroics to achieve a common aperture, which influences the calibration hardware and lens design. The TIR system’s most significant problems relate to control of random noise and bias errors, requiring optimisation of detector operation and calibration procedures.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2017
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 10566, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2008, 105660I (21 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2308230
Show Author Affiliations
Dan Lobb, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Isabel Escadero, TNO (Netherlands)
Mark Chang, Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Sophie Gode, TNO (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10566:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2008
Josiane Costeraste; Errico Armandillo; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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